Former Ladbrokes World Darts Championship finalists Simon Whitlock, Kevin Painter and Gary Anderson all swept into the last 16 of this year’s tournament at Alexandra Palace with comfortable victories on Sunday afternoon.

World Darts Championship

The Wizard – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Australian star Whitlock, the 2010 runner-up, brushed aside Finland’s Jarkko Komula in straight sets and dropped only five legs as he romped into the third round.

Whitlock took the game’s first set 3-1 before coming from 2-0 down to win the third, producing a key 12-darter to break throw in the process.

He then stepped up the pace by winning the third set with a trio of 13-dart finishes, and held his nerve to seal victory in the deciding leg of the fourth.

“I’m very happy with that win because I felt a lot better than my last match and I felt in control this time,” said Whitlock. “I knew I had to play well to beat him today and I did that.

“I started off slowly and I was a little bit nervy, but once I got a couple of sets ahead I thought I played some really good stuff.

“Kevin Painter will be a really hard game next. He’s been around for a long time and it will be very tough, so I’m taking one match at a time.

“I’ll be practising on Christmas Day because I’m not 100 percent yet – I’m very close and I feel really good, but I’ll do a little bit more work as the matches progress.”

2004 finalist Painter also enjoyed a straight sets victory as he lost only five legs in seeing off former Players Championship Finals winner Paul Nicholson.

Painter edged a key first set 3-2 as he capitalised on two missed doubles from Nicholson in the deciding leg by taking out 116, and he took the next three sets 3-1 to set up his post-Christmas clash with Whitlock.


“I didn’t play as well as I did in my first round game against Tomas Seyler, but I got the job done and there’s still a lot more in the locker,” said Painter.

“It didn’t quite go to plan but the difference was my finishing at the right time. When it came to the big moments, I delivered and when it came to the big pressure shots, I took them out.

“I nicked the first set and I think that killed Paul. I felt really edgy in the first set and I don’t know where the 116 came from, but it settled me down a little bit to take the next set, and after two sets it was going to be hard for Paul.

“I didn’t play fantastically but there’s something to work on. My finishing’s good, and if I can up my scoring a little bit then I think we’re onto something.”

Nicholson said: “I did everything right in the last couple of weeks and I felt great mentally, but physically something wasn’t right. I know what went wrong today, and I’m going to fix it in the New Year.

“I’m outside of the top 16 in the world and I’ve got to make big strides next year. Today was a bad day, but I know there’s a lot of good days ahead so I’ll look forward to them.”

Birthday boy Gary Anderson, who lost the 2011 final to Adrian Lewis, defeated number 15 seed Brendan Dolan 4-1 as he moved into the last 16 with another strong performance, averaging almost 98 in setting up a third round date with Michael van Gerwen or Kevin McDine.

The Scot, who turned 43 on Sunday, took the game’s first three sets, including a 12-darter in the decicing leg of set two, before Dolan punished four missed match darts from Anderson to edge the fourth.

Anderson, though, swept through the fifth set without reply as he moved into the last 16 for a fourth successive year at Alexandra Palace.


“It’s a great way to celebrate my birthday,” said Anderson. “I’m glad to have come through that because Brendan, on the floor, is one of the hardest player you can play on the circuit.

“When I lost the fourth set I was kicking myself, but it was typical of me and I recovered well. I was glad to get it wrapped up at 4-1.

“The 180s have dried up a little bit for me at the moment, but I’m hitting plenty of 140s and getting two darts in the treble quite regularly. I’ve produced two solid performances and it’s done the job for me so far.”

The second round continues on Sunday evening with a further three games, including number two seed van Gerwen’s clash with Kevin McDine.

Wes Newton, the world number eight, faces three-time World Champion John Part, and two-time semi-finalist Mark Webster, a former Lakeside Champion, takes on Scotland’s John Henderson.

Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Results

Sunday December 22
Afternoon Session
Brendan Dolan 1-4 Gary Anderson
Kevin Painter 4-0 Paul Nicholson
Simon Whitlock 4-0 Jarkko Komula

Evening Session (7pm)
Wes Newton v John Part
John Henderson v Mark Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Kevin McDine

Best of seven sets

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(3-1, 3-2, 3-0, 2-3, 3-0)
GARY ANDERSON celebrated his 43rd birthday in style as he overcame Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan by a 4-1 margin to reach the last 16 stage of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.

The former Premier League DArts champion opened up a three-set lead and looked on course to record a comfortable straight-sets victory at Alexandra Palace.

However, Anderson missed four opportunities to wrap up the game and Dolan stole the set to keep his hopes alive, before the Scotsman recovered to take the fifth without reply to close out the game.

“I’m glad to have come through that as I’ve found Brendan a really tough opponent in the past,” said the 2011 runner-up, who defeated Mark Dudbridge 3-0 in his opening match.

“The 180s have dried up a little bit for me at the moment, but I’ve produced two solid performances and it’s done the job for me so far.

“I did make it a little bit harder for myself by missing those chances for a 4-0 win – which is typical of me – but I recovered well and was pleased to hit the double eight to end it.”

Anderson won the first set by a 3-1 scoreline, hitting a 119 finish in the process, before edging the second in a deciding leg, where he produced a fine 12-dart finish.

Anderson continued his fine form on the doubles as the third set also fell in favour of the 43-year-old as he established a 3-0 cushion.

The fourth set went to a deciding leg which Anderson looked on course to win in being first to a finish, but four chances to win the match went begging and Dolan took the opportunity to keep the game alive by hitting double 16.

Anderson, though, recovered from that disappointment as he broke his opponent’s throw in the second leg of set five with a 64 finish, before ending the match in the next on double eight.

Match Information
First Set
0-1 – Anderson misses the bullseye for a 161 checkout, but returns to hit double eight after Dolan missed one chance at double 16.
1-1 – Dolan levels by hitting double top at the first attempt.
1-2 – Anderson regains the lead thanks to an excellent 119 finish, which he completes on the bullseye.
1-3 – One missed dart at double top from Dolan sees Anderson wrap up the first set on double eight.

Second Set
1-0 – Anderson wastes three opportunties to break throw, allowing Dolan to hold on double 16.
1-1 – The former Premier League champion starts the leg with a maximum but misses four darts at doubles. However, Dolan is unable to capitalise and Anderson returns to hit double five.
2-1 – Dolan hits a 180 of his own before taking out a 72 finish to win the leg.
2-2 – Anderson hits double 18 to send the set to a deciding leg.
2-3 – The Scotsman finds his tremendous scoring power at a vital time as he hits 140, 180 and 100 before taking out 81 on bullseye to complete a clinical 12-dart leg against the throw.

Third Set
0-1 – Anderson holds throw with an excellent 13-darter, landing double top.
1-1 – Dolan draws level on double 16, with his opponent waiting on a two-darter.
1-2 – The Northern Irishman hits a second 180 only for Anderson to take out a two-dart 64 finish.
1-3 – Anderson hits double top at the first attempt to move three sets clear.

Fourth Set
1-0 – Dolan converts a 62 finish on double 16, to start the set well.
1-1 – Anderson continues his good form on the doubles, as he hits tops with his first dart, to hold throw.
2-1 – Dolan takes out a 65 finish on double four.
2-2 – Anderson lands double ten to go a leg away from a straight sets win.
3-2 – Anderson misses double 12 for a 141 checkout to win match in style, but gives Dolan a major let-off as he wastes three more opportunities to close out the game, and the Northern Irishman takes advantage as he steals the set on double 16.

Fifth Set
0-1 – Anderson holds throw on double 19, defying a 180 from his opponent.
0-2 – The Scotsman takes out a 64 finish to break throw, thanks to an accurate third dart at double four.
0-3 – Anderson misses three more chances to win the match and Dolan applies pressure with a 180. However, Anderson manages to hit double eight to secure a third round place.

(3-2, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1)
KEVIN PAINTER eased into the third round of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a straight sets victory over Paul Nicholson.

The crucial point of the game came in the deciding leg of the opening set, where Painter took out a superb 116 checkout, after Nicholson missed two opportunities to claim the set.

From that point on, Painter lost only three more legs over the course of the next three sets to progress to a 4-0 win and end Nicholson’s challenge in just 40 minutes.

“I started of the game a bit nervy and winning that tight first set proved to be crucial in the end,” said Painter, who has yet to drop a set in this year’s competition.

“I didn’t play as well as my first round game against Tomas Seyler and still didn’t feel that comfortable, even at 3-0 up, but I got the job done and there’s still a lot more in the locker.

“I’m a big stage player and I produce my best performances on the big occasions. I loved the atmosphere out there today.”

The players shared the opening four legs before Painter edged the first set in the deciding leg with a 116 checkout, after Nicholson wasted two opportunities to claim a 1-0 lead.

Nicholson then hit a 136 checkout to level at 1-1 in the second set, before Painter won the next two legs to leave the Australian World Cup of Darts star trailing by two sets.

Nicholson won the first leg of set three with a 13-darter before Painter responded with an 82 finish to level and a 15-darter to move 2-1 up.

Both players hit a 180 in the fourth leg to leave a shot at double, but Painter had the first opportunity and hit double 18 to move three sets clear.

Nicholson started the fourth set with a 14-darter before wasting six chances to secure a break of throw in the next, allowing Painter to level on double 16.

Painter then hit a 15-dart-finish to move a leg away from the match, and an accurate attempt at double ten secured victory.

Match Information
FIrst Set
0-1 – Nicholson holds throw by taking out an 81 finish.
1-1 – Painter levels thanks to an accurate attempt at double 16, for a 67 finish.
2-1 – Painter wastes five opportunities to win the leg, only for Nicholson to miss three chances to break and allow the former runner-up to return to hit double two.
2-2 – Nicholson hits double six to force a deciding leg.
3-2 – Painter holds the advantage of throw, but Nicholson hits a 180 to take control of the leg. However, the Australian is made to pay for two missed darts at doubles as Painter hits a 116 checkout, on double 18, to edge a tight set.

Second Set
1-0 – Both players record maximums before Painter wins the leg by taking out 56 in two darts, with Nicholson waiting on tops.
1-1 – Nicholson responds with a brilliant 136 checkout.
2-1 – Painter holds throw with a clinical two-dart 81 finish, following a missed dart at double top from Nicholson.
3-1 – The number 13 seed starts with a 180 to take command of the leg, before hiting double eight to leave the Australian two sets down.

Third Set
0-1 – Nicholson makes a positive start to the set, as he hits double 16 for a 13-darter.
1-1 – Painter converts an 82 finish with his opponent waiting on 68.
2-1 – Painter leaves 40 after 12 darts before hitting double top with his third dart, to break throw.
3-1 – The 2004 runner-up hits a third 180 to leave 36, only for Nicholson to reply with a maximum of his own to leave double 14 – but Painter posts double 18 at the first time of asking to win the set.

Fourth Set
0-1 – Nicholson holds throw on double 16, to record a 14-dart finish.
1-1 – The number 20 seed is guilty of wasting six chances to break throw and Painter steals the leg on double 16.
2-1 – Painter hits double ten to complete a 15-darter and move a leg away from triumph.
3-1 – Painter closes out the game by hitting double ten for a second leg running to end Nicholson’s challenge at Alexandra Palace.

(3-1, 3-2, 3-0, 3-2)
SIMON WHITLOCK cruised into the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a 4-0 victory over Finland’s Jarkko Komula on Sunday afternoon.

“I started of very slowly but once I got a couple of sets ahead I thought I played some really good stuff,” said Whitlock, who now faces Kevin Painter, after the former Players Championship Finals winner took out Paul Nicholson earlier in the day.

“Kevin and I have had some excellent battles over the last few years. I can only see our game on Friday following a similar pattern and I’ll be really up for it.”

Whitlock, who defeated Ross Smith in first round match, won the opening two legs of the game after Komula missed opportunities to win both.

The Finn hit an excellent 101 checkout to win the third leg before Whitlock closed out the set in the next to draw first blood.

Komula, who defeated former UK Open finalist Mark Walsh in his opener, hit back to lead the second set 2-0, landing a 14-darter in the opening leg.

Whitlock then produced some clinical form on the doubles as he won the next three legs with finishes of 92, 82 and 68 to take the set and increase his lead.

The Australian powered through the third set in just 39-darts – hitting a trio of 13-dart finishes – before moving 2-1 up in the fourth, to move a leg away from victory.

Komula kept the match alive by hitting a 100 finish in the fourth leg, but a missed dart at tops to win the set allowed Whitlock a shot at double five to close out the game, which he duly converted.

Match Information
First Set
1-0 – Komula misses two chances to win the first leg and Whitlock hits double eight to move ahead.
2-0 – Whitlock hits double four after the Finn missed one opportunity at double five.
2-1 – Komula takes out a 101 finish on double 16.
3-1 – Whitlock hits double top to win the first set.

Second Set
0-1 – Komula starts the set well with an excellent 14-darter to break Whitlock’s throw.
0-2 – Whitlock misses three chances at double eight and Komula capitalises by hitting the same double.
1-2 – Whitlock hits the bullseye to convert a 92 finish.
2-2 – The Australian number one hits double top for an 82 finish, after both players had kicked-off the leg with 180s.
3-2 – Whitlock hits another 180 before taking out a 68 finish to move two sets clear.

Third Set
1-0 – Whitlock misses double 12 to complete a 138 combination, but returns to hit double six for a 13-darter against the throw.
2-0 – The Australian repeats the trick as he registers another 13-dart finish, completed on double 12.
3-0 – Whitlock rounds off a brilliant set of darts as he hits double 18 to post his third successive 13-darter.

Fourth Set
1-0 – Whitlock’s good form continues at the start of set four as he takes out a 65 finish for a 14-darter.
1-1 – The number four seed misses the bullseye, for a 130 finish, and Komula ends a seven-leg losing streak as he takes out 80 on double top.
2-1 – Whitlock hits double 16 with an accurate third dart to move a leg from a last 16 spot.
2-2 – Komula hits double ten for a 100 finish, with Whitlock waiting on 58 to win the match.
3-2 – Whitlock misses two chances to win the game. However, Komula is unable to hit double top for a 105 finish to keep the match alive, and Whitlock returns to hit double five to seak the win.

2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship Links

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